Shadows of Footprints

Shadows of Footprints
I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isa. 46:4b

It was a cloudy day today while walking on the beach. The taste of salt was heavy in the air and the ocean seemed lonely. It was very early in morning, so there was just a few people on the beach. While walking I could see in the sand what seemed to be footprints. The tide had come in and washed them out but the shadows still remained. As I turned to look back at my own footprints, they too had been carried out to the sea like all the other footprints before me that had walked the same path. I wondered over the years just how many people had walked the same beach.
In the shadows you could see the different footprints, someone that had walked their dog, some with shoes on, jogging perhaps, some barefooted, so they could feel the sand beneath their feet. In some you would see two sets of footprints side by side. Perhaps lovers walking together hand in hand, planning their lives together. But mostly like my own, one set of footprints, alone. I thought about the poem “Footprints in the Sand”.

One night a man had a dream. 
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life
This really bothered him and he 
questioned the LORD about it:
"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."
The LORD replied: "My son, my
precious child, I love you and I
would never leave you. During your times of
trial and suffering, when you see only
one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

I could see the person in my minds eye who wrote the poem. Walking very much like I was that morning, lost in my thoughts. How many people had this one poem touched?
In the shadow of the footprints on the beach was a glimpse of who had walked this path before me and the many tides that had washed away the footprints. Out of all who had walked this beach before me, what evidence was there that they ever existed? As I stood there watching the tide slowly washing away my footprints, I heard the Lords voice:
He asked, “How many footprints have you left in someone’s life? Are you just out for a walk or will you leave shadows of where you’ve been? How many times could you have left My Footprints but didn’t? Child, don’t let their footprints be washed out to sea and there be no evidence I ever existed in their lives. Tell them about Me and let Me walk with them as I do you.”
I can’t turn back and retrace my path, but I can start a new path and leave shadows of my footprints in the people I meet from now on. I can tell them of a wonderful Lord who will wash away all the sadness in their lives and give them reason to keep walking in His path. Today my walk on the beach left footprints in my heart.
Lord; help me to tell others of You. Give me the boldness to share my God with all I meet. May I leave footprints in the hearts of the people, for it’s the You in me that I am. Thank you for always walking with me Lord. Amen

by Grannybee 2001